Top Managers Quit Charlie Hallowell Restaurant Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Top Managers Quit Charlie Hallowell Restaurant Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

In the latest chapter of harassment allegations in our industry, three managers and chefs from Charlie Hallowell’s Boot and Shoe Service have resigned over alleged “serial harassment” from the owner.

Last year, 17 former employees of Hallowell’s Pizzaiolo, Boot & Shoe Service, and Penrose restaurants accused the restaurateur of creating a demoralizing work environment where his "indecent propositions and about of his power were the norm," and that the workplace featured a "near-constant stream of sexually explicit language."

An ultimatum was proposed earlier this month when a group of seven top managers threatened to resign from the Oakland restaurant if Hallowell didn’t divest from the restaurant. This weekend, protests were staged outside the restaurant over the alleged harassment and the way Hallowell and his company have handled the allegations.

Crisis consultant Larry Kamer, who was recently brought in as a spokesman for the restaurant group, said that the protest was peaceful and that the picketers would not lose their jobs as a result. Staff from the other restaurants were brought in during the protest, and he said the company is hiring people to fill jobs of departing employees.

“We know there are a number of people who feel strongly about this,” Kamer said

This protest came at a time when hundreds of women marched across the country as a part of the Women’s March and the #MeToo movement.

By Sunday, three managers and chefs had resigned from Boot & Shoe Service after their demands that he divest from the company were not met.

“I feel pretty sad. I feel like I really had some measure of hope — maybe I was naive — that this was going to work,” said Emily Hayward, who resigned as general manager along with pastry chef Jenny Raven and brunch manager Stephanie Chevalier. However, Hayward added, “I feel very confident in my decision. The lack of response really told me everything I needed to hear as far as my value.”

Boot & Shoe Service chef Gregg Cashmark, sous chef Matt Fishman and cafe manager Greg Francis told The San Francisco Chronicle they are also planning to quit in the coming days. Top staff from Hallowell’s two other Oakland restaurants, Pizzaiolo and Penrose, did not join them in the action.

After the original Chronicle investigation was published Dec. 27th, Hallowell responded by removing himself from his company’s day-to-day operations while an outside attorney conducts an investigation.

Read more at “The San Francisco Chronicle.”

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Chef Charlie Hallowell Steps Down After 17 Women Accuse Him Of Sexual Misconduct

Chef Charlie Hallowell Steps Down After 17 Women Accuse Him Of Sexual Misconduct
  • First John Besh, then Todd English, Mario Batali, then Ken Friedman. Now, Charlie Hallowell is the antagonist of the latest sexual harassment scandal in the restaurant industry.

  • Women, empowered to speak up, sought out justice when they denounced Chef Charlie Hallowell of sexual harassment.

Most recently, you may have seen celebrities share on their social media platforms posts referring to the Time’s Up movement. The open letter by 300 female professionals from the entertainment industry was in response to another open letter which was sent in solidarity with Hollywood actresses on behalf of 700,000 female farmworkers whom have also experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. It’s a move towards fighting the “systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and in blue-collar workplaces nationwide,” reports “The New York Times.”

Sadly, sexual harassment cases continue to headline the news, especially in the restaurant industry.

After 17 former female employees came forward detailing years of sexual harassment and verbal abuse allegations in the workplace, Oakland Chef Charlie Hallowell decided to distance himself from his restaurant group, as reported by the “San Francisco Chronicle,” last week.

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The Debate Over Sugar Tax Sparks Again, Following Cook County’s Repeal

The Debate Over Sugar Tax Sparks Again, Following Cook County’s Repeal

Last week, the penny-per-ounce soda tax on consumers, implemented by Cook County early August of this year, was repealed after much push-back from the public and heavy lobbying from Chicago’s business community.

Foodable first reported on the controversial tax last year, when five U.S. local governments (San Francisco, Oakland, Albany, Boulder, Cook County) passed tax measures on sugary drinks following the example of cities like Berkeley, Ca. and Philadelphia, Pa.

Cook County was the largest local government to implement the soda tax and the only entity to tax consumers directly rather than the distributors of the sugary beverages like in the rest of the cities.

After just two months of being in effect, the sugar tax will end by Nov. 30, the end of the Cook County budget fiscal year, thanks to a 15-2 vote by the county’s Board of Commissioners, according to The Chicago Sun-Times.

Critics of the tax repeal point to aggressive ads by the beverage industry criticizing commissioners for plans to allocate the revenue from the soda tax to help cover budget deficits as one of the reasons why big soda was able to convince the public the measure was not a good idea in the first place.

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Amazon Mobile App Takes on Food Delivery

Amazon Restaurants homepage

Amazon is officially taking on food delivery under the name: Amazon Restaurants. It is available now to over 20 cities in the United States.

The service is still exclusively available online to Prime members, but now also through the Amazon mobile app, Prime Now. 

Navigating the Amazon Mobile App

  • Tap the menu icon 
  • Tap on: "See all programs"
  • Scroll down to: "Amazon Restaurants"
  • Browse restaurant selection after typing in your ZIP code

As Foodable previously reported, Amazon started testing the food delivery services in Seattle back in 2014. Just this year, the logistics company began to deliver food in Las Vegas and District of Columbia.

Below you can find a complete list of cities where Amazon’s delivery services are available:

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Baltimore
  • Brooklyn
  • Chicago
  • Columbus
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Phoenix
  • Portland
  • Manhattan
  • Miami
  • Minneapolis
  • Northern Virginia
  • Orlando
  • Oakland
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Seattle and the Eastside
  • Tampa
  • Las Vegas